Favorite Poems of Late

By Wednesday, January 19, 2022 ,

I wrote recently about my favorite books read in the last year and noted that I was pleasantly surprised that the list included several poetry volumes. Ever since Wendell Berry’s poetry came to my aid at a crucial point in 2020, I’ve made an effort to include more poetry in my regular reading. I’m by no means an expert in poetry by now, but I’ve found it steadying, soothing, and able to get me thinking about big and beautiful ideas in different way than prose does. So, here are a few of my favorite poems from my recent reading. I hope they help you stop and think and marvel. Click the titles to either read them, or in one case, to buy the volume :)

“Heaven in Ordinary” by Malcolm Guite

I read this one in Guite’s volume titled “After Prayer,” in which he composed a series of poems that respond to George Herbert’s famous poem “Prayer.” This one reminded me of the magnitude of how Jesus has hallowed the lives of his followers, even in the seemingly ordinary moments.

“Foretaste and Tell” by Carolyn Weber

Carolyn Weber is my favorite memoir writer, and her honest and vivid style there bring her poetry to life just as beautifully. This one paints a gorgeous picture of the little tastes of heaven we get here on earth, whetting the appetite for the day that all will be actually perfected.

“Mary's Song” by Luci Shaw

I have my friend Mary Giudice of Take This Poem (on which I got to be a recent guest!!) to thank for introducing me to this one and thusly to Luci Shaw overall. If you want to ponder just how wild and marvelous the incarnation of Christ is, this poem might be a good place to start. Shaw shows how huge and incomprehensible it really is by wrestling it into words that somehow only show just how insufficient words are to describe it.

“In Memoriam [Ring out, wild bells]” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

This one struck a sweet chord with me when I read it on New Year’s Day. It epitomizes how humans long for renewal and restoration and how a new year can often make us aware of that searching. In these tense times, it’s also a poignant reminder that there’s nothing new under the sun.

This is the poetry corner in my house. What should I be adding to it this year??

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